143. Kaleiding forces

Beautiful things are moving as you read these words, just as sure as Al Green can lay down a groove out of little more than heavy monosyllables and melt your futile belly fat resistance to big mojo. Don’t even get me started on Barry White. Irresistible. Ladies? can I get an amen?  “Ummm,hmmmm. Preach it, Reverend Special.”  It’s how most of us are wired. Drawn to the beauty in our environments. Don’t resist, Blogchicks. “MMMMM, MMMMM, MMMMMM, OOOH.” Something lights up in our minds when a sweet baritone croons, “Baaaabbbbyyy, Baaaaabbby, Baaaaaabbbby.” Now stop it!

Just outside the coffee shop today, as I huddled round the café table under the trees with Gene and Richard, a full sized fire truck pulled into the square. Oddly, it blocked four cars parked nose in. There was no fire hydrant to drain or alarm to check. Nor was there smoke or fire. Instead, three burly uniformed Boro Fire Department guys exited and pulled out a long handled net.  A net?!!?  Here’s the scoop: a baby duckling had fallen into the storm drain at the curb. The mother duck panted and softly quacked in anxiety as the three men came to her baby’s rescue. She waddled around the yew bush hedge to watch them as her other six yellow/brown duckies piled up under her butt. It was a beautiful sight as folks stopped to OOH an AHH and take pictures of the noble efforts expended on behalf of a three ounce baby duck. There is something clashingly tender about a two hundred pound man cradling a baby bird in his meaty palms. “There, there Momma Bird. Your baby’s okay now.” However, one question remains unanswered: Who called 911? Momma Duck?  Did she use an interpreter? And what was that conversation like?

“911. What’s your emergency? For English press one. For Spanish press two. For animal languages press three and select from the menu… A if you are an aardvark, B for beaver, C for domesticated chicken, D for duck, beep.”

“I have a baby duck stuck in a storm drain. Please send someone now!!!”

“Forreal? You got a duck in a storm drain?”

“Yes, down on the Square in front of Tito’s Tacos, Taxis and Tax Service. Now. It’s quacking like a baby duck in a storm drain.”

“Ma’am, it is a baby duck in a storm drain.”

“Okay, I get it…but are you gonna send help or what?”

“Calm down, Ma’am, and remain on the line. You’re in front of Tito’s Tacos, Taxis and Tax Service?”


“When did they add the taxi service and taxes?”

“Over this past year when business got slow with the tacos.”

“Okay, we’re sending help now.”

This unexpected joyous moment interrupted our little chat. Richard was explaining that he was going to be in Texas in a month and would like to see the new W presidential library.

“Is that in Houston?”

“No, Dallas.”

Then Gene added, “Are you gonna gonna go to the Suppository in da, da, Dallas?”

“You mean the Dallas Book Depository?”

“Ya,ya, yeah. Wha, where Lee Oswalt was.”

“You mean Lee Harvey Oswald? He was the suppository in the depository.”

Yuk, yuk,yuk.

“Ya see there? That’s why I don’t like to talk.”

We carried on as best we could given the circumstances and limited impulse control.

Despite the odd theme of our discussion, the spring rite of saving innocent ducklings occurred just stage right of us. It was a case of kaleiding forces. “Kaleido” means “beautiful shapes” in ancient Greek, by the way. And if I ever open a restaurant, I’ll be sure to offer the Kaleido Gyro on my menu. Of course I’ll feature square and triangular gyros. Round and half rounds will be available. Doubles in each basic shape will be special orders. Human figure gyros will be special birthday orders and feed 36 like a giant Subway sub. On super special requests, like Bill Clinton, for instance, I’ll put out the state outline Gyro in the shape of Arkansas or the Lewinski PG 13 Version. And if Fidel Castro ever dies, I’ll be sure to produce a commemorative bearded High Fidelity Gyro with a complementary cigar and a camouflage fatigue napkin. The beard will be mostly shredded lettuce and peppers tastefully arranged beneath the pouty cigar chomping Pita bread mouth. I know the Kaleido Gyro will not be for everyone and is unlikely to franchise across the nation. But that’s what’s great about this country– a fake Greek Irish cowboy sandwich artisan can dream big.

So where was I?  Contrary forces kaleiding. Well, at the Coffee Summit this morning it was a meeting of the baboon club. Josh had his 19th century humor on display. Matt was explaining astrophysics and extraterrestrials who might think he was highly evolved if he was the first and only human they encountered in space. I suggested that they might eat him and decide to go to Earth for the rest of the potato chips. The Egginator doing his enigma impersonation. Steve, sergeant at arms and a possible stand in for me should I be assassinated, was speaking with a little too much authority about Summit business, inviting Josh’s potential future father-in-law to the Summit without following protocol. I sniffed a coup and spoke to it. Lance, the Riddler was in the house and in good spirits. And Gene, the Agitator Alligator, rounded out the house.

At one point our youngest associate pastor Kyle (who occasionally visits but is not fully vetted to be in the Summit Nation) pulled his earbuds out and walked over to our three tables. “Gentlemen, do I need to read you verses on holiness?” He lacked the necessary context of the exploding moment. You see, Steve (along with Lance’s interjections) was explaining to me what the premise was for the TV show Cash Cab. It got funnier as each scenario was added, not because of the actual show but because of Steve and Lance’s delivery of the cab schticks. So when they were riffing on the capital of Dubai being Djbuti or Ja Booty or Ja Mama’s Bootie, Kyle did not get the whole picture. We did offer him one of the group for human sacrifice to clear our debt, but Kyle made some obtuse Bible reference and gladly put his earbuds back in.

So much for kaleiding Kalashnikov days at the office. It’s funny how beautiful bits of colored glass can appear at the end of a tube and how beautiful life can be if you possess a loving, albeit eccentric and twisted, perspective.


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